Your neighbors put their home on the market and a SOLD sign went up right away! Yet now two months later, there doesn’t seem to be a new neighbor moving in? A co-worker told you she bought a home but then 3 weeks later she says the home is no longer hers? This may leave you wondering what is going on in the market right now!?

One explanation is the return of contingent offers. Specifically, a buyer purchasing a home contingent on the buyer’s own home selling. In the fast moving markets, contingent offers were not a consideration. Why would a seller accept a contingent offer when there were multiple NON-contingent offers being presented?

This made it tough to be a buyer who also needed to sell. In the tighter markets, when buyers were ready to sell their homes and move, there was no inventory to choose from. Also a buyer was worried that if they listed their home, it would sell so fast that they would not have a place to go!

Enter contingent offers. The fact that sellers are now considering contingent offers is an indication of a market slightly loosening its grip. This movement is mostly a good thing!

Unless you consider your neighbor. What happens when their buyer’s home doesn’t sell and your neighbor’s home then comes back on the market? And why did your co-worker ‘lose’ her house? If she was a contingent buyer, the seller can still show ‘her’ home. Should another offer come in, a seller would give her a specific timeframe to sell her home. Should she be unable to perform, the other offer can ‘bump’ her offer (all laid out in the purchase agreement).

Certainly the market is experiencing quite a balancing act! Few markets have had both contingent offers and multiple offers happening at once.

So what do you do now? Is now still a good time to make the move you had been planning? Absolutely! Just be sure to work closely with your experienced realtor to help you navigate through this process! The more you know, the fewer surprises, and the more enjoyable home buying and selling will be!

By Kristin Beise